Sharing our experience, strength and hope to support each other to recover from problems resulting from excessive game playing.
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McPhee, I totally agree with you that starting a task with a small first step is very helpful. I think I should try that strategy more often. The meditation sessions have already helped me control myself and focus better. The haiku is perfect for me; it should serve as a nice mental note whenever I find myself procrastinating.
I'll still be careful around games today. It's been 27 days since I last gamed. Nearly four weeks now.
I will not game today.
"The trouble--it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found." - Home
BrandNewDay, 28 days is huge! Every milestone means you've gotten through another round of regularly occurring experiences without succumbing. Weekend, payday, holiday, exams, etc. all can really ratchet up the urges, often seemingly out of the blue. The more time you get game-less, the easier it all becomes. Unfortunately, the urges never go away completely for a lot of us, myself included. But they do get weaker. And as you gain experience in navigating vacations and other hot spots for gaming triggers, you'll have a better chance of fending them off when they occur. Great work!
I am okay. No plans to game today with just three days to go to notch a full year without gaming.
Today sucked but there is still some things im greatful fore: Having all my limbs, Having an apartment, Being able to buy food when im hungry,
see u later
Never alone, go to meetings <3 Mumble voice meetings on cgaa are great, see you there <3
Wow, a full month since my last check-in. Time flies! Your stories are really touching, and SO much progress has been made over the past months by you all! I've taken the time to read all of your wonderful posts and will comment on them first before giving an update on the developments in my past month.
Jamal - thank you so much for all the inspiring posts. I totally agree on your post how children how you to grow as an individual. For me personally my 2 daughters where one of the main reasons to quit now.
- I also love your post about taking recovery granted vs. remaining grateful for your recovery every single day. How taking your recovery and the improved feelings that come with it for granted can cause an unwillingness to fight to stay sober. Thank you for reminging us all to be grateful we didn't play games today. Wazaap - maybe add that to your list of gratitudes :-)
- Your post about how addicts are hard on themselves hit the nail on the head for pretty much all of us it seems. BrandNewDay, your comment on how society pushes us really hard to perform reminded me of my own upbringing. I also really recognize what you said about this SmartenUp. For me, I've found that being VERY hard on myself was my main reason for starting to game (to relieve that stress). This is also why it's so easy to relapse. Relapse triggers guilt and beating-self-up behaviors, to which we immediately respond with... MORE games.
McPhee - your help to the community and ongoing recovery is truly inspiring. I feel bad for not being here more and actively engaging to help others. THANK YOU for your commitment and contribution.
- It's really good that you keep on reminding a few key points to people as they are recovering. On being to focus on ONE thing instead of trying to be perfect. It's as mentioned above; when trying to meet three goals and failing 3, just that faillure can cause beat-myself-up behavior and both KILL my motivation AND triple the urge to game to escape. I had to learn this only very gradually while stubbornly trying to change 5 habits at once. No more, I've finally come to recognize it cannot be done, which is a huge improvement so far :-)
- Thank you for reminding me to meditate. That's one key habit I have not implemented that would help me a lot.
- I like the point about playing the tape all the way to the END. I'll try that the next time in having mad cravings again (it's happening a lot lately).
- McPhee - what is this freelance work you do from home - if I may be so bold to ask? Just curious.
BrandNewDay - congratulations on your AWESOME progress. In the posts I've just read you have gone from 1 to over 20 days!
- I'm finding the same thing happen to me that you are experiencing: when quitting you take a temporary NEGATIVE effect on your productivity. In my own case, I could probably play games 50% of the time and work the other 50% of the time to balance things out. Quitting gaming threw me off balance and made it impossible to work even 20% of the time in certain times with the most depression / withdrawal effects. Like you also say yourself, in the long run, you will be able to use your full potential rather than just half (or less) of it and have a huge benefit. What really helps me is: the further I get into this recovery, the higher I feel the "cost" of relapsing would be. All those unproductive hours spent being depressed trying to change my addiction would be lost, and the long term benefit of increased joy and productivity would be lost to me. It's that enormous fear if LOSS that keeps me going for 145 days now.
- About your teachers: consider taking certain ones of them into a private 1on1 conversation and telling them exactly what you are going through personally and how that might temporarily affect your results. If they are nice and understanding people, they will probably think you brave for fighting your addiction. It will also help build a personal relationship with them, which is a very beneficial thing to have. They might even give you some good advice, guidance, or extra opportunities. I recommend you to give being open and vulnerable like that to people a few chances. I'm extremely open myself, and I've found being vulnerable like that can create wonderful things. Start with the people you know are friendly, nice, and empathic :-)
- Congrats on surviving that first moment watching others play, that was a REALLY tough one for me. Good to see you are focusing JUST on not gaming. Like I just told McPhee, I've entirely given up on trying to change all at once.
- You mentioned your feelings are still getting worse. Personally I recommend that you are prepared for it to get worse in the future. It's still getting worse for me after 145 days but I had this addiction pretty strongly for 17 years. You are doing great taking it ONE day at a time. The best thing to do is to simply have NO expectations regarding when you will start to feel better. Then you can only get a positive surprise. It gets worse before it gets better.
SmartenUp - Thanks for that interesting point about how to get out of procrastination by imagining what it will be like if you continue to put the work off. The power of momentum you are talking about (getting into it) is really powerful. I'm happy you reminded me of this, I really need to hear this over and over and use it's power.
- GREAT job on not playing games after you felt you blew that job interview. It's those moments that you made the biggest achievements of your recovery, they are the points where you could easily choose to fall back, but instead you make a different choice. Like you said - OLGA is a great place to flee when you feel you are about to cave in and start gaming. Over the past 145 days of not gaming I have had two instances that were the worst with me almost giving up. In those cases I chose to re-read some stories of people that lost everything through gaming before they became clean, and some stories from the husbands and spouses of gamers that are seeing their marriage totally destroyed by their husband or wife's terrible addiction. These stories give me a reality check personally, playing the tape to the "REAL end" showing where I could end up after 10 more years of this behavior.
Striving for freedom - welcome to the club! Hope you are still doing well, please post as update! :-) I totally recognize the point that moderation just doesn't work for you. It's all or nothing. Many of us here seem to be like that. It's good to know we're not alone or unique.
Anewho - congrats on 77 days!! Awesome achievement!
Wazaap - great job - keep up the good work!!!
- Some advice to try get a little momentum in your life:
(1) Decide what you don't want. What things happened in your life that you NEVER want to have happen again. What thing do you strongly dislike about your life. What are you affraid your life could be like 10 years from now.
(2) From that, decide what you DO what out of life. What is the antithesis of those bad things. Imagine you are GOD and you have your own planet. You make the rules on that planet. You can create and be and do anything you like. What things would you do, create, and be.
(3) From those things, identify how they would make you FEEL when you get them. Get into that feeling state and the desire of feeling like that. Imagine the types of things that could make you feel like that.
(4) Try to think of ONE SMALL STEP you could take today that would lead in the direction of getting the results that would make you feel like that. Allow any intuition or idea that comes up to be heard. Do not doubt your inner voice, but trust it. Trust your judgment on what step would be a good one.
(5) Take that tiny step and get the momentum going. Feel grateful and proud for taking the step. Then repeat step (4) and (5) again.
The things you will do are going to be TINY. But the effect these things will have on you and your energy will be huge.
Davethepelgrim - welcome! Hope to see many more updates about your recovery. Anything we can do to help?
My own update:
- I've decided to count my progress both in Months+days and just days. Thanks you BrandNewLife for the inspiration to use several measures :-) 4 months and 21 days done! Which is 145 days :-)
- I have started working out and working with a private trainer. It's really starting to change my energy and have a positive effect. However I also find it seems that exercising actually seems to release a lot of stored up old emotion and energy from my body. I guess that's postive, but it sure feels very bad when all those feelings come out. I'm getting better, but it's hard work.
- We have done even more traveling the past month. This time we went to Jersey (channel island between France and UK) for 12 days. Previously when traveling I felt REALLY out of balance. It's getting better now, I'm better able to travel, NOT play games, and still get some work done, which feels like real progress.
- My withdrawal effects are getting worse and worse, if anything. ANYTHING I see seems to remind me of games. Any logo of a province, any castle, literally 100 more things that trigger thoughts of 10's of different games. Over time I'm learning to deal with these feelings better, which is a good thing because the urge to game is also getting stronger and stronger. I've also been physically sick from all the stress this process entails. I have a feeling things might be close to the tipping point where it finally gets easier instead of increasingly hard. But I have no expectation. I will fight this battle to the death, no matter how hard it gets. I'm more sick of playing games than I'm sick of not playing them.
- Over the past month I have somewhat let go of the extreme pressure I was putting on myself to perform. Me and my wife have a lot of responsibility running our own business, training 2 new employees, and that was really getting me stressed. I'm better able to let go now and just accept that now and then I'm going to drop a few balls. I've also had the realization that JUST the fact that I'm not playing games is a huge achievement, and any work I get done on top of that is an even better achievement. I'm giving myself more recognition for my work now, and that's helping to give me more energy and motivation.
Sorry for these LONG posts. I need to come here more often. It's really inspiring and supportive every single time. THANK YOU all for the great help you are to my recovery, and the BEST of luck and strength to keep going day by day.
Had a minor relapse last weekend (28/2), which felt kinda crappy afterwards :(
Still, I am pressing on and now have a week of game-free time under my belt again. Also struggling with urges like a lot of you are. Your posts are inspirational and help motivate me to perservere :)
I also find myself sometimes trying to "reason" my way back into gaming - that I'll promise to moderate this time, or I that I can use gaming as a reward for finishing off my work/tasks that I need to do. Of course, I've tried all that before and it never turns out well! I try to keep telling myself that nothing has changed - I am still an addict and playing games again, no matter the reason, will have the same result as last time.
Anyway, keep up the good work everyone, we're all in this together :)
Gosh. First of all, thank you McPhee for suggesting this strategy and the haiku.
This strategy was unarguably the most effective and powerful in making the most out of my time and doing what I don't want to do so far. It's the strategy of breaking every task into very small, "bite-sized" actions. For example, I haven't done laundry in a month, but, today, I told myself to stand up, grab the detergent, take the key, walk down the stairs, etc., and finally washed and folded all of my clothes. This strategy also helped me to finally finish my overdue art homework.
I love this trick and will keep using it in the future.
I will not game today.
guitar1986x, that was possibly the most outstanding post I have ever seen! For somebody who says he doesn't come around here much, you are amazingly well-connected and up to date on everybody and everything. Thanks so much for that. I am really happy to hear you are doing well although sorry to hear about the surging urges lately. One of my observations is that we have to learn all over again to be non-gamers any time we encounter for the first time a situation from before we quit. You may see this with repeating things like the first weekend, first payday, birthday, holiday, family get-together, etc. along with more rare events like a job loss, relationship breakup, illness and so on. What you are experiencing now could be related to that, if you haven't been on an extended vacation since you quit gaming. Anyway, I'm thinking you will do better your next vacation. And any time you are about to do something you haven't done since you quit, brace yourself.
In regard to my freelance work I work as a journalist and writer. I have done it full-time since 1987, and just last year took my first actual job in many years, working part-time as an emergency medical technician for an ambulance company. If nothing else, the work constantly reminds me how very fortunate I am, which is a good thing to remember.
BrandNewDay, glad you like the haiku and bite-sized approaches. I find them very helpful myself. I'm still not perfect at avoiding procrastination, but I'm better by far than I used to be. There used to be an excellent website for a group called Procrastinators Anonymous that helped me enormously, especially the daily check-ins (that is my personal silver bullet against vampirish complex maladaptive behaviors). Unfortunately, it's been down for a year or so and still isn't back up. Some technical issue I don't understand. You can get a feel for it and stay on top of the plans to bring it back at this Facebook page:
StrivingForFreedom, it's really a struggle to get used to the idea that you really can't go back to a little gaming every now and then without running an unacceptably high risk that you will again start playing like a crazed loon. That may, in fact, be the key struggle. Once you get that through your head, things become more clear. It sounds like you are almost there, which is wonderful. Keep up the fight! You are going to win this!
wazzapp, you do indeed have much to be thankful for. In my part-time work I am constantly exposed to people in horrible shape -- amputees, paraplegics, quadraplegics, people with cancer, bedsores, dementia, alcoholism, diabetes and you name it. Sometimes they are impoverished, living in a nursing home and have no family or friends as far as can be detected. When I see that, it makes it harder to take myself seriously when I feel like complaining about divorce, child support, custody and the rest of my litany of complaints. I also see people in stunningly difficult circumstances who appear cheerful and unaffected by any of it. How do they do it? It's not clear, but I think it is clear that I can remain happy in my relatively great situation. I'm glad you see that too and that you're continuing the effort.
I'm good today. Two more days to hit a year of game-free living. And the living is good. Thanks.
Thanks for the advice guitar, im trying to change my life around so it's timely advice
Thanks McPhee ur right.
Today i feel better than yesterday. I think it has a lot to do with me working my part-time job, it gets me social and i help people. Another big factor is probably listening to inspiring speeches on my favourite youtube channels.
Today im thankful for: Having all my limbs, being relative healthy, tv-series, opportunities, freedom and human rights, friends,
See u later
I'm now having a few more sources of stress such as a new season of sports (I'm playing tennis), a huge history research paper, a lack of sleep, and the two week vacation coming up this weekend. This is quite a challenging time, especially because my grades are due at the end of the week. I will need to overcome my procrastination and begin by finishing the most important things first.
Thanks for your advice guitar! I do think that I should find some teacher or counselor to help me through this. I'll try to do that before the end of this week.
McPhee, I'll definitely check out Procrastinators Anonymous when I have time.
One thing at a time
Most important thing first
Wazzapp, being social and helping people are both wonderful ideas. Although I am a loner by inclination, everything I read, from scientific studies to classic novels, emphasizes that we are social animals and relationships are extremely important to our well-being. Maybe the most important, after basic needs like food, water, shelter and medical care. You can't escape it. It's just the way we're built. You're being very smart!
I'm trying to hit relationship-building a lick every day, making at least one effort to reach out to my significant other, family members and friends, and smiling at at least one stranger. Taking my part-time job on the ambulance was a longer-term way to explore more relationships and directly help people who are sick. I just want to be happy, is all, and I think this will help. I think you're doing the right thing.
BrandNewDay, you are doing great! It sounds like you have a busy life and it can be challenging to prioritize when you have a lot of stuff going on. You probably won't be perfect at that, but almost anything is better than just giving up and hiding out in a game. And you're not doing that. Very good work!
I have some great stuff happening and some not so great stuff happening. Overall, I'm okay. No plans to game today.*
* I should d**n well hope not, since tomorrow will be one full year since the last time I gamed. Am I going to screw this up now? I don't think so.
Hi all, thanks for your encouragement
today im thankful for: having all my limbs, pretty good laws, tasty food,
Today is one full year since the last time I gamed. Hallelujah! It's a great feeling. Things are going so, so much better since I quit. Also, living like that sucks and is crazy and I don't want to go back to it even a little bit. So I'm both fleeing a bad situation and running toward a good situation. That's a powerful double-whammy of motivation.
Sure, sometimes playing a game seems like it would be fun. But then I remember what is almost sure to happen if I start playing a little bit. The obsessiveness, compulsiveness, secrecy, lying, ignoring responsibilities, poor hygiene, irritability, damaged relationships, physical ailments like carpal tunnel, procrastination, financial problems, career collapse, dreams deferred (forever), self-loathing, etc. And that is not fun, obviously, so I'm not starting and not playing even a little bit.
And it's fine. I don't miss gaming, beyond the occasional mild and fleeting urge. It's not like life now is pale and boring without gaming. Far from it. Disengaging with that imaginary virtual world has enabled me to engage with the real world. I am making all kinds of progress bringing my most treasured dreams to reality, and I wouldn't trade that for any quantity of gaming fun or success.
There's just no comparison between a life devoted to computer games and a life devoted to really living.
I am so grateful for Olganon and that the admins here allowed me to join up again after being kicked out for misbehavior some years back. And I'm grateful to Silvertabby for starting this thread and getting it going, and for everybody who participates here. For me, it's a combination of the jedi mind-control tricks and the community that allow me to avoid gaming. Without you folks, it wouldn't work for me. So I am exceedingly grateful to you other game-ravaged kooks. Thank you very much and I hope whatever problem you're having with gaming is favorably resolved soon.
No plans to game today.
Congratulations McPhee. !
Congratulation McPhee well done!!!! =)
Today im thankful for: McPhee taking 1 year, Having my limbs, music festivals,
See u soon!
Congrats McPhee on your one year of freedom :)
McPhee, congratulations for your 365 days of game free living! Your accomplishment is also encouraging me to keep going despite the difficult times I'm experiencing these days. I've been discouraged by the lack of progress in social and academic life after quitting, but this too shall pass. Because of your example, I can now see that a bright future is still ahead of me, but I have to not game and keep going! I'm deciding to stay optimistic in any situation, especially when I'm down, every time in the future. I will hold fast to hope that I will accomplish my goals, if I keep trying. I will meditate, finish tasks one action at a time, and never ever give up.
I'm grateful for all of you at Olganon for keeping me going! I'm 30 days free from gaming. This should translate to a month already!
I still love this world and the beautiful experiences that it offers, if only we go out there and look for them. I remain hopeful.
I did not game today.
Much appreciate the props, folks. It's a good feeling.
BrandNewDay, congrats on 30 days! That is huge!
Quitting gaming is likely to give you a lot more good days than continuing to game would. But life as a non-gamer is not guaranteed to always be a vision of sublime perfection. It's sort of a percentage deal. You increase your odds of having a good day if you don't neglect all other aspects of life in order to sit in front of a screen like a hypnotized fish. This seems obvious but, equally obviously, considering who is writing this and who its intended readers are, it bears repeating: If you stop gaming all the time, your life is very likely to steadily get better, although you won't escape all torment and difficulty.
Try to keep that in mind as you battle through gaming urges and real-life disappointments. It'll get better. You'll get better. You'll be happier. Don't give up the fight.
No plans to game today. Thanks to all who post for your help with that.
A test on sociability that I just took told me I'm borderline autistic. They must be seriously kidding. Although I am a bit nervous with new things, I'm definitely not autistic. If they define autism as just introversion, then autism isn't even a disease. I'm quite frustrated with this social pressure to be super outgoing and talk about subjects that lack any substance. Still, I am a bit scared that I'm really anti-social and there's nothing I can do about this (they say autism has no cure). But I am choosing to be social only when the subject has substance, so I shouldn't be truly willing to avoid people at all costs. I don't know if I should start to engage in the "small talk" that I so despise, but if that makes me truly social, I have no choice then. For right now, I'm going to see whether small talk is really necessary to be social.
Yes. That had nothing to do with gaming, but it is a difficulty I'm facing in the process of recoverying from gaming, so I thought I will put the thoughts on here.
Also, here's my 30 day clean chit!
I'm at 31 days now.
BrandNewDay, it doesn't sound like you're too thrilled with those test results. I've read that autism is often diagnosed incorrectly. Which test was it?
I am hanging in there. No plans to game today.
I'm feeling really weird today. It's the first time I've been to a counselor at school and told people in real life about my gaming problems. The counselor was quite supportive, but I still feel uncomfortable talking to her about all that I've thought about. Maybe I should withhold some things at the next session, but I don't know if this is the right thing to do.
McPhee, here is the website that I went on to take the test: http://aspergerstest.net/
BrandNewDay, what was your score on that test? If it's over 31, the interpretation guide suggests you may want to follow up with a healthcare pro. Generally speaking, however, it certainly doesn't sound conclusive. But it's good to know stuff like that, so you could consider further exploration. Meanwhile, I hate to see you get too wound up over a borderline score on an online self-test. From what I read about this test, I think there's a good chance you are not borderline autistic at all. I suggest either forgetting it or trying to find out more. Whatever you do, don't assume it's right and take it to heart and label yourself. That does not seem indicated at all. Could you ask your counselor about this?
I understand totally your uncertainty about coming clean on the excessive gaming. There's something very embarrassing about it, wthout a doubt. I feel that shame strongly myself. However, I don't see anything wrong with describing the problem to a counselor. That's what they do, and I'd be shocked if this counselor had never encountered it before (as well as a long, long list of much worse stuff.) It's not like this is a rare problem. It's just rarely acknowledged. You're acknowledging that. I'm proud of you. You are stretching out and engaging in self-discovery. That takes courage. Props to you!
I am good today. No plans to game.
Hi everyone, just came by to say hi.
7 months free and the feeling is incredible. I don't feel anything toward a relapse anymore. Gaming is really out of my environment and habits.
I played Wii bowling a few minutes with my cousin on the holidays, and after that, we turned it off, and that was it :P
There is hope and a better life waiting for us all.
So much free time, it's awesome.
Much Love, I will not game today. I don't want/need/feel to anymore.
Facing what consumes you, is the only way to be free. -Hatebreed
Oops. This post is a repeat.
I'm officially on the first day of spring break now and am back at home. There's far less stress than at school, all of a sudden, but then there's a new kind of stress being forced to do this and that by my parents. Generally speaking, though, the circumstances are not as bad as they were a week ago, and I'm grateful for that and truly pulling myself through that last week. Now, I have far less pressure to do homework, but, at the same time, less pressure to not play games and waste my time, because I seem to have a lot of time to spare. I'm trying to occupy myself with books; I read three hundred pages of a book today and felt pretty good about that. Still, I don't want to relax myself around gaming at all, and still have to be careful around all those other time-wasters on the internet.
McPhee, thank you for your reassurance on my autism test scores and my meeting with the counselor! Although it's not a good thing, I like to label myself with negative or positive things on myself and say that's fate too often, which limits my will to go beyond these self-imposied limits, such as "I'm not social," or "I won't be able to finish this homework by tonight." These things are only detrimental to my decisions and actions and I feel that I should keep away from these or just don't take them seriously. And I will also continue to talk to my counselor about my problems and reach out to more people in my immediate community.
Isyckle, congrats on 7 months free from gaming! I agree that there is always hope for evenbetter lives for us all.
I didn't game today and will not game today.
lsyckle, congrats on seven months of game-free living! Great job! Thanks much for the post. It really helps to hear from people who are making it and enjoying it. Highly inspiring. Thanks again.
BrandNewDay, negative self-talk can be a big issue for many people. Disputing that negative self-talk can really help. There are a number of ways to go about that. The best-selling popular psychology self-help book of all time, Feeling Good, is a great resource for learning a proven approach. Every library will have copies, and so will many used bookstores, literally for a couple of bucks. The author, David Burns, calls his approach the Mood Log. In his later writing, he calls it the Triple Column technique.
To do it, you write down a bothersome thought, like "I'm not social." Next to that you write down what's inaccurate about it. With that thought, the big problem is "labeling." You are labeling yourself, and labels are fine for file folders but not so much for people. Self-thoughts that use labeling are highly suspect. Burns lists nine other common distortions, including "should" statements, all-or-nothing thinking, overgeneralization and discounting the positives. "I'm not social" also is an example of all-or-nothing thinking and discounting the positives.
Next you come up with a reasonable, realistic response that more accurately portrays who you are. Such as, "I may not be the most socially gifted person who ever lived, but I'm not the least either. I have some friends, or have had some, and I can learn to be more socially competent and have more friends." The main thing is to pin down these negative thoughts, examine them for accuracy, and come up with more helpful and realistic replacement thoughts. Learning to dispute troubling thoughts probably won't solve all your problems and make you deliriously happy forever, but it can significantly reduce unnecessary self-inflicted torment. I call that a win.
I'm dong pretty well today. No plans to game.
Hi McPhee, thanks for introducing these strategies to combat negative self-talk! These thoughts are truly detrimental to mental health, and I'm happy there's a solution to them. I'll try these strategies next time I have negative self-thoughts.
It's been 5 weeks since I last gamed. I am feeling much better. Still being careful around games right now. I think I still need to be careful around games all the time.
Even though it's vacation right now, I still need to heighten my self-control and not lose the nice habits I've developed over the past 5 weeks.
BrandNewDay, congratz on five game-free weeks! Yes, vacation time is one of those high-risk moments for many of us. The good news is, once you get through spring break game-free in 2016, the next time will be a lot easier. You are sounding great.
I'm good here. No plans to game today.
I'm getting some stress from constant conflicts with my parents during this break. I read an article on NYTimes about seeing issues from others' perspectives. Using this strategy, I hope I can resolve the conflicts soon. I'll need to be careful not to play games these days. Reading some books today and doing things one action at a time. I'll also follow my goals and try to accomplish them.
Today im greatful for: Freedome to pretty much do whatever i want, great friends, my apartment
no plans to game
see u =)
wazzapp, those are some great things to be grateful for. I like the way you stick with the gratitude. It can help a lot.
BrandNewDay, the most powerful tool I've ever seen for defusing upset with other people is the Judge Your Neighbor worksheet. This is from a self-improvement guru named Byron Katie. I don't find the rest of her message or tools very useful, but this one thing is dyn-o-mite. The key thing it does is help you see that your perspective is not the only one that counts, I think. Anyway, recommended. Google Judge Your Neighbor to learn more.
Thanks McPhee, yeah i think there's some kind of (unconcious) benefit to it. Otherwise i run the risk of just not being grateful for anything :P
Today im thankful for: Having my limbs, That i am me, That I have the ability to learn
No plans to game, see u soon =)
I am on the run this morning. No plans to game.
The last week for me was really extremely hard in terms of game cravings. It keps on getting progressively worse with each day. I think the triggers were:
- Higher pressure than usual to get things done in our business
- Allowed myself to play some Luminosity brain training app, not getting the same "fix" from it but I feel it still activates the same patterns in my brain. Decided not to do this anymore since it's making it so much hard on myself.
- Watched Youtube videos of people playing. As a last resort when I felt at breaking point I used these videos a few times. It did stop me from playing games but at the same time it's activiting the same patterns in my brain and making it so much harder on me. Also decided to stop doing this.
I get the feeling what's happening is that I still have not really changed on the inside, clinging to the old. This is causing "not playing games" to still be a struggle even after 5 months. The past week I felt really tired of that struggle day in day out the same situation where I have to apply willpower to over-rule my urges. Even a VERY strong decision has it's limit in how long I can keep it up I'm noticing. I really need to go on an change something on the inside or I cannot keep this up anymore.
So what I decided was is I'm going to get professional help from a therapist to support me in continuing to quit games. Funnily, I did allow myself to play games for a couple of hours saying to myself "I'm now allowed to do this because I'm going to speak to this therapist tomorrow and really take the next step". I'm choosing not to reset my "game free" timer over this. So far I'm finding I am keeping my commitment, I spoke to the therapist today, made an appointment, and went back to not playing games. I'm feeling quite good that I was able to manage this incredibly hard episode without fully relapsing, used it to start getting help to truly make a step forward and learn what are the things underlying my game addiction, and set and stick to a clear limit which I would allow myself to do. I'm finding my 5 month timer still gives me pride which I can use to keep up the good work.
Here is what I need your help with:
I'm having new thoughts about agreeing to play games under certain condition. I.e. I can play a little right now because I'm getting professional help next week Friday anyways. I know those thoughts are both untrue and simply the result of what I allowed myself to do yesterday in that one-time exception.
The question is, how to keep my commitment until I speak to my new therapist 7 days from now?
Best of luck to all of you!
Bart, that sounds like progress, even if it's a kind of two-steps-forward-and-one-back variety. Progress is good. You're getting there! I can see how playing Lumosity and watching videos could prime you to game again. You're smart to realize those are triggers and plan to stay away from them. I also think it's insightful to recognize that you're making those deals like, it's okay to game because I'm seeing a therapist, etc. For most of us who get this far, we're going to be happier if we just don't play any games at all. It's weird how we want to game, even when we know we won't like it, will regret it and will be much happier if we don't game. I suspect you're coming to that realization. The sooner the better, but it's never too late. Consider the "playing the tape to the end" trick next time you think how much fun it would be to game a little. Think about what it's like when you've ignored everything important for hours, days, weeks, months and years in order to play a game compulsively. Then ask yourself whether you want to take the chance of playing a little. You can figure this out. Good work!
I'm okay. No plans to game today.
I'm back on Olganon, after breaking my streak of coming here everyday for the last month. Still, I'm glad I haven't played games in the last two days nor have had any urges to do so. I'm travelling with my parents in California right now, so don't have much time to check in here; fortunately, I also don't have any time to play games this week. I'll still try to find time to read all your posts and check in myself, just to remind myself to be careful around games at all times. I've had short-lived thoughts about downloading some old games back on my phone to play when I'm bored on the airplane or car, but I've decided against this because I don't want to waste the rest of my life playing games and forget all the efforts that people have spent to get me to this point in my life. I'm grateful for my parents, friends, teachers, and society. I still cannot game: not even for a second. It's been 39 days since I last gamed on February 8th. After all I've been through, the struggles and accomplishments and depression and happiness, I don't want to repeat the bad part of the past ever again. I'll meditate and keep a clear mind to tackle the next day.
BrandNewDay, you are killing it! That is a situation ripe for relapse -- traveling out of town, not able to check in, bored, restless, sitting there with your phone and nothing to do. And you are handling it! That's just excellent. Keep it up! Don't just rely on willpower. Check in if you start having strong urges. Make plans for some stuff to keep you occupied, like an audiobook, podcast, ebook, TED Talk, etc. You can do this. You ARE doing it. Great job!
I am okay here. I had a great time at the Houston rodeo. It's been many years since I was at a rodeo and I suspect they will eventually go by the wayside due to the rough treatment of the livestock. Still, a great slice of Americana and, as a Texan, my own culture (sort of, since I am a city boy.) Also saw and heard a really well-done concert by a Nashville pop band called Little Big Town. Man, if I could only sing like that. THEN I'd be happy. ;)
Now I'm back home and my son has spent a good bit of the last few days at Screen Burn, which is the video game section of SXSW, the huge (no, I mean seriously massive) tech gathering here in Austin. He really enjoyed the virtual reality demos. I suspect VR will be a large thing in gaming. It's unfortunately another way we'll get sucked into an alternate, non-real world. I imagine even more people will be lost to it than regular gaming. Of course, to others it will be a great blessing. People who are disabled, or differently abled or whatever the current acceptable terminology is, for instance.
Anyway, I'm glad I'm not into that kind of stuff any more. It's bad for me. And real life is excellent, thank you very much. Really. Thank you very much for your help getting me off the freaking games. I am so much happier now. And I think my kids and girlfriend are too, since I'm not sneaking around and ignoring them and skimping on their needs and wants so I can play mother-loving games. What a doofus I was!
Yeah, I'm not that thrilled about the start of the work week either. But it could be worse. I could be buried in a game right now, after having spent 32 or so of the last 48 hours of the weekend ignoring housework, social duties, proper nutrition, rest and personal hygiene in order to engage like a compulsive zombie in a virtual electronic world. The real world is so much richer, more complex, challenging and rewarding than any game could ever be. Games are nothing -- nothing -- but a pale, washed-out, weak, limp and lifeless imitation of actual life. If you can gamify your life -- figuring out ways to turn a task into a quest, giving yourself missions or challenges, rewarding yourself with treats instead of badges and levels, etc -- you can take the good things out of games (there are some good things, clearly, or we wouldn't be so obsessed with them) and apply them to the fundamentally superior arena of real life. That's a double win. I am off to chase that win now. I hope all are well.
Today im really grateful for living in modern time. Can u imagine how miserable life could've been.
I mean, even though im "low-borne", i still have the possibility to rise above this. I can educate myself, build a business, or whatever i like.
Think about relationships with women: in a pre-modern state i wouldnt be allowed to talk, let alone sleep with, a "high-borne" woman. Even casual sex with anyone could lead to capital punishment. Ugh, just thinking about it makes me sick x)
I might got my facts about mediaval life all wrong, but it sure makes me grateful anyway ;)
No plans to game,
See u soon
Hello guys. I just wanted you to know that I have been in a pretty long relapse week. I just didnt think that being accountable could be so beneficial and I learned it the hard way. I have to admit, i didnt humble myself enough to let others help me and I thought I could carry this burden by myself. I cant...So here I am. THank you for reading this. I wish to everyone who read this a wonderful day.
Nothing is impossible. Thats only if you believe it.
Today im grateful for having: All limbs, living in a society with human rights, Olga, NA
Kind of a tought thing today, met my ex GF. I have concluded that im not the monogamic type. I litteraly go insane in exclusive relationships. I think there's a certain % of us out there....
I've been free from computer-games for 106 days. Ocassionally though, like once a month, i play console-games with friends. I usually count this as a relapse, but honestly it doesnt seem to harm me or bring up any addictive tendencies. U might still count it as a relapse, but i dont anymore
Talk to u soon =)
DaveThePilgrim, sorry to hear about the relapse week. It sounds like you learned something from the experience and are determined to try again and rely less on pure will power to stay away from the wretched games. I'm calling that a positive. Quitting gaming is very often a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of thing, at least for those of us who have enough trouble with it to come here. So I hope you're not being too hard on yourself. This is part of a process that can result eventually in you getting games out of your life and creating a new life that you will really love and be proud of. No joke! You can do it. Coming here is a good idea. Keep it up! You can do this!
Wazzapp, I agree that living in modern times is a great blessing. The plumbing alone would make it worthwhile for me. Seriously, my theory is that plumbers have probably saved more lives than all the doctors who ever buttoned up a white coat. The big jumps in life expectancy seem to happen when people install clean water systems, and plumbers are the ones who make it possible for us to separate the sewage from the drinking water. Also the quality of life is much improved by a shower, in my view.
As for monogamy, it can be great for some folks but probably not for every last one of us. I will say that the women seem to generally resent it pretty powerfully when you can't keep it buttoned up. If you are going to try to have more than one girlfriend at a time, you probably should prepare yourself for some angry partners, breakups, divorces, etc.
I am doing pretty well here. Among other things, the other day I finished a 10k training run in less time than my target time for the actual race that is coming up in a couple of weeks. Not everything is going that smoothly, but I don't see any horrible disasters on the horizon at the moment. No plans to game. Thanks for your help with that.
No plans to game today. Thanks for your help with that.
It's been 6 weeks and 3 days since I quit games. Nearly 4 million seconds. I was in LA last week and truly enjoyed going to the national parks and other attractions. I got closer to Nature then than any other time in the last year, and that made me feel much better. I found out that, besides gaming, there are still other really fun things to do in life that have many more benefits than playing those stupid ol' games. Still, I've got to be honest here, I did accidentally touch games for a few seconds here and there in the last month or so, but always had sense enough to quit within the first ten minutes. I sometimes didn't see those things as potential addictive activities until I started doing them. All those games I played for a few seconds were new games I didn't immediately sound the alarm for, but I'm glad that, after playing each of them, I never touched or will ever touch them again. I've banned all video games that I've seen from my life, and if I come across new ones, I'll continue banning them and get better at noticing them before I play them again. I'll be careful, still, not to even get close to games. I really hate them now. So meaningless; they suck the joy right out of living the rest of Life. Even if I see everybody around me play games, I'll not play them. Really, why should I care if I have a higher level than some other random "player" in some stupid artificial construct that only seeks to make people become addicted to it? I don't care about games and I will not play them.
I will not play games today.
BrandNewDay, that's great news. Thanks for the update. It's a little unfortunate that some of us got in such a bad way with the games that we can't really ever play them at all again without losing control But, hey, it could be worse. In the scheme of things, not playing games is a pretty small issue. It's sure better than playing them and being all crazy and reclusive and sneaky and irresponsible and everything else that comes with compulsive excessive gaming. Urk. I do not want to go back to that. I'm enjoying the heck ouf of game-free living. Like, I'm going to spend most of today at a training class for pre hospital trauma life support, learning how to care for accident victims. We'll practice extrication from car wrecks and other interesting stuff. I think that's cool, like exploring a new level. Then I have to go try to fix my son's car, which is an interesting problem not unlike, say, a quest in a game. And both of these projects are chock-full of the realism, richness, power and beauty of real, real life. Not some lame-a** game with sludgy graphics and a story line written by an idiot.
I urge others to try to join me. If checking in at Olga doesn't work for you, try something else. You can do it! And it's totally worth it.
I realized that life is more real that I thought it was when I played games. I had this tendency to think that life's all a simulation not unlike games. Well, as it turns out, life is real. I need to feel more responsible for the issues I've caused in my life and seriously fix them. And, hopefully, now that I know life is real, I can enjoy more out of it because I'm actually livin' it. Gosh, it's so nice not to have games around any more. I really hate games.
Today im really grateful for finishing 2 courses pretty rapidly, in about 3 weeks. Now i'm doing research for my thesis again. This is the only thing i have left at school, I can see the light! x)
McPhee ur right. Most women wouldnt go for that. Now im just doing casual dating combined with looking for that girl who's more opened minded. A few of my friends have been in these types of open relationships, one of them is right now, so there is hope! ;)
BrandNewDay, you are really sounding wonderful. It's a pleasure to read your observations of what it's like to emerge from being a compulsive excessive gamer. Thanks much for checking in. Great work!
Wazzapp, that sounds like a great plan. In my experience, some people, male and female, are happy with open relationships. But most are more possessive and will insist on exclusivity. However you want to do it, you can find a partner or partner who will see it your way. It helps if you can try to have a lot of fun while you're looking, as opposed to desperately examining each candidate to see if they are your potential lifetime partner. Have fun!
I am good today. Lots of work to do. No plans to game.
Thanks mcphee, yeah having fun & being non judgmental is a must, otherwise it becomes dreadful pretty fast x)
Im good today. Mainly been studying, also gym & NA meeting. Recorded a vlog, ate pretty healthy, smooth day.
Looking forward to ending my day soon and maybe hangout with friends.
Today im grateful for: The fact that im being productive today (not a common thing during this januari for example), That there are friends I can call, That i did a vlog (ideally i would do it everyday... great for rhetoric and improv-skills. well well... one day at a time ;). Im also grateful for not being in the gaming prison that i've often found myself in, in the past years. Gaming all day without feeling able to stop really sucks.
Today, like every day, i've been having some negative inner dialog. I dont know if this is proper therapy but i've been vocalizing the negativity with a silly voice as much as i could these past 2 weeks. The result is that i laugh at it, sometimes forcefully. I think this is good especially for my habit of fruitless complaining (i.e. complain about things i cant change).
Since 3 weeks im going to my local medicalcenter and talk with a councel. He told me they recently hired a psychologist and that i can get CBT-therapy sessions if i want. I haven't said yes yet, I should probably try it out =)